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iTunes 7.1

iTunes 7.1 was released on March 5, 2007. iTunes 7.1 primarily accommodates Apple TV, but also provides new sorting features and full-screen Cover Flow. (Note: iTunes 7.1.1 was released on March 16, 2007. iTunes 7.1.1 addresses a stability issue and minor compatibility problems in iTunes 7.1.)

 

First Glance

A "Apple TV" Preference tab has been added to the Preferences.

A "Apply Sort Field" has been added to the contextual menu when Control Clicking a track. This works with the new "Sort" fields now available in the Column sort of iTunes browser windows and the "Sorting" pane in the Get Info window of individual tracks.

Full-screen "Cover Flow" option. Neat!

Apple TV Help in Help menu.

Chris Breen at Playlist Mag has a nice rundown of new features in iTunes 7.1.

New track properties

As mentioned above, new sorting tags have been added for tracks: "Sort Name", "Sort Artist", "Sort Album Artist", "Sort Album", "Sort Composer" and "Sort Show". These tags will override whatever their associated "normal" tag is when sorting. For instance, set the "Sort Artist" of your "Dan Baird" tracks to "Baird, Dan" and those tracks will sort under "B" instead of "D" when sorting by artist. (You do have Dan Baird tracks, right?)

Each of these tags has an AppleScript counterpart: sort name, sort artist, sort album artist, sort album, sort composer, and sort show. These can be set like any other regular tags. See the script Batch Set Tracks Sorting Tags.

(Apple has also added a "Release Date" category, but this is not accessible by AppleScript or the Get Info window. It appears only to apply to tracks downloaded via the iTunes Store, including podcasts and videos.)

Another new AppleScript track property is unplayed. It accepts a boolean true or false. I haven't found a counterpart for it in the iTunes GUI, although it does appear in the XML file (ah-ha!) so I'm guessing this something Apple TV may be looking for? On further investigation it appears this may be specifically for podcasts since only my podcast tracks have an Unplayed node in the XML. Interestingly also, the Unplayed node is set to true even though the Play Count node is 1 or greater; perhaps this is because it has been initialized with the update? Anyway, see the script Selected Tracks Played or Unplayed which works on any kind of track.

Hey, do my TV Shows now have a blue dot on the far left signifying played status? Apparently this can be set with the "Mark As New/Not New" command in a track's contextual menu (Control-click/right-click)--however unplayed seems to perform the same function script-wise.

Other developments

Apparently you can no longer display the entire library with something like this (which worked until iTunes 7.1):

tell application "iTunes"
	set view of front browser window to library playlist 1
end tell

The library playlist 1 is still accessible via AppleScript, you just can't display it.

A workaround, suggested by Correspondent George Dick, is to create a Smart Playlist whose only criteria is "Size is greater than 0" and click on Live updating. Name this new SP something obvious like "Everything" or "Full Library" or what have you. Then create a script like this, substituting the name of your SP where appropriate:

tell application "iTunes"
	set view of front browser window to playlist "Everything"
end tell

Save it to your iTunes Scripts folder and give it a shortcut so you can easily display the SP when necessary.

More as it develops...

See also A Look At iTunes 7.0, A Look At iTunes 7.0.1, and A Look At iTunes 7.0.2

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